GreenArts Afterschool Program - 2021
What: An environmental and health-focused arts afterschool program
Who: 12 2nd graders
When: One hour sessions once a week from March-June
Where: P.S. 55
Current Funders: This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council through a CASA grant from NYC Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
To expose children to the importance of healthy living, healthy foods, and physical fitness
To increase children’s self-confidence through writing and public speaking
To develop children’s fine art skills in drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture
To expose children to social activism
Teaching Artist Luss Nigaglioni worked virtually over Zoom with 12 second graders at CS 55, exploring the topics of health, wellness, and sustainability through writing and musical composition. Nigaglioni holds a BA from Lehman college and is a BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) winner.
In order to participate remotely via Zoom, each student was given a bag of materials including headphones, notebooks and writing utensils, a set of clave sticks, an aloe vera plant, and a yoga mat. To supplement and reinforce the topics of personal health and wellness, children received multiple visits from Alex Guitierrez, who taught the students multiple yoga poses, instilling the importance of mindfulness in our class.
As a class, the students wrote the lyrics to their original song, “Move Your Body”. The song speaks about the importance of self actualization, personal health, and accountability. All the students recorded pieces of audio that were incorporated into the song, as well as worked collaboratively with Nigaglioni to create the instrumentation that accompanied their words.
"I wanted to thank you for choosing SCAN second graders to be part of the GreenArts afterschool program. I would like you to know that the students really love the program. All the students look forward to working on music and creating beats with Mr. Luss. The kids also enjoy doing yoga with Mr. Alex. The GreenArts afterschool program allows the children to be creative and to use their imagination when doing music and yoga. As a class they had a chance to create a verse using words that rhymes and in yoga they created their own movement and they named the movement. The benefits that the children have is that they are able to learn the history of music and they understand that there are so many ways to create music." -Ms. Mirlye, Counselor
"It’s very important that the Bronx Children’s Museum GreenArts Afterschool program provides materials because, for many of our families, as you know, education is a fifth priority. Food, shelter, safety, health, and access to technology comes first and then we can focus on education. So for a lot of the families, having materials is a challenge. If they have to choose between materials and food, they’re going to choose food. So having the program provide materials for the family makes it easier for them to participate in the programs. CS 55 has had a partnership with the Bronx Children’s Museum for over 7 years now and from the health programs to the art programs to walking down the parade with the students, it’s just had a major impact on the social emotional well being of the children, as well as exposing them to the arts in a way that they would never be exposed to in any other way and we are grateful for the partnership and we’re excited that, in the future, they will have a home that we could visit and bring our children to. The Bronx Children’s Museum is very important to our school because, as they are growing and developing into an actual museum, our children have been exposed and, in the future, this will be a place where our children can bring their children. It’s going to be something special for the Bronx. I’ve gone to the Manhattan Museum and I always say “Why can’t we have one in the Bronx?” and I’m just excited that we’ll actually have something like that in the Bronx. We are the poorest congressional district in the county and the museum will just be a great asset for our community." - Mr. Torres, Principal
“I can rap now! I didn’t know that I could, but Mr. Luss showed me and I want to be good. I love the sound the clave makes and how we made our song.” - Mariyam, Student
“It’s cool to know hip hop started in the Bronx. Now, I want to get better at rapping and music. The yoga was really fun, too. I feel more relaxed now.” -Alex, Student
“I learned a lot about music and got a lot of exercise, like yoga. My favorite yoga pose was ‘the tree pose’." -Steven, Student